Nutritional and household risk factors for xerophthalmia in Aceh, Indonesia: A case-control study

L. Mele, K. P. West, Kusdiono, A. Pandji, H. Nendrawati, R. L. Tilden, I. Tarwotjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Risk factors for xerophthalmia were assessed in 466 subjects [38% with night blindness (XN), 60% with Bitot's spots (X1B), 2% with corneal xerophthalmia (X2 or X3)] under age 6 y and their village-age-sex-matched control subjects during a community trial. Socioeconomic status and hygiene standards were lowest for households of xerophthalmic children and highest for nonstudy households in the trial population, with values for control households lying in between (P < 0.001 by linear trend). Risk of xerophthalmia increased with less frequent consumption of dark green leaves, yellow fruits, or egg during weaning, adjusted for current intake and present age [odds ratio (OR) = ~3.5]. Exclusion of these same foods from the current diet (except for mango and papaya in older children) was associated with a two- to ninefold excess risk of xerophthalmia, adjusted for weaning influences. Xerophthalmic children aged < 3 y were generally at higher risk of dietary imbalance than were older children. Xerophthalmia is associated with a chronic, infrequent consumption of key vitamin A foods from weaning through early childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1460-1465
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991


  • Case-control study
  • Dietary risk factors
  • Indonesia
  • Nutritional status
  • Xerophthalmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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